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July 5, 1971

A Vaccination Dilemma

Author Affiliations

Mount Vernon, NY

JAMA. 1971;217(1):80. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190010062023

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To the Editor.—  While most pediatricians will agree with the recent EDITORIAL on vaccination against rubella (215:1492, 1971), it poses a medicolegal dilemma for those in states in which rubella vaccination has been mandated by law as a condition for school entrance. The editor advises that "an effort should be made to repeal or suspend them [ie, the laws] until it is certain that the best interests of the entire community are served," and that "meanwhile the lay public should be informed forthrightly about the hypothetical risks as well as the advantages of mass vaccination."Many of us disagreed with the public health experts who rammed the bill for compulsary rubella vaccination through our state legislature. We knew the objections raised in the state of Washington and in England to mass vaccination against rubella in young children. However, faced with a law, we could only comply. What now? The